A SPECIALIST diagnostic service based at a health sciences university in Pokesdown “must improve” say inspectors who found issues in staff training.

The latest inspection from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that the diagnostic imaging service at AECC University College in Parkwood Road, Bournemouth, requires improvement in three out of four parameters – including patient safety.

Last inspected in 2014, the unannounced inspection in May this year has resulted in several ‘musts’ for the service to improve upon. For example, the CQC report said staff “did not receive all of the training they needed to keep patients safe” and that patient chaperones “did not receive chaperone training”.

Additionally, managers were reported as not always ensuring staff were competent to operate certain equipment. In fact, there was no record of staff competencies which meant inspectors “could not tell if staff had been trained to use equipment”.

In the last twelve months the service has provided more than 5220 ultrasound scans, 225 x-rays, and 1236 MRI scans.

General cleanliness was also found lacking in relation to certain procedures, namely no sink in any of the site’s nine ultrasound rooms – meaning staff carrying out ultrasound scanning did not have access to a clinical handwashing facility.

When inspectors raised their concerns, senior managers made immediate changes to the layout of the ultrasound department so that transvaginal scans were only conducted in a room with a clinical handwashing facility.

Despite this, patient care was rated as ‘good’ by the CQC who found staff treated those under their care with “compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, took account of their individual needs, and helped them understand their treatment”. Patients also receive care quickly with backlogs a rarity.

Managers and staff were reported to also carry out comprehensive programmes to check improvements in care over time.

While the service was told to improve, inspectors added: “Staff understood the service’s vision and values, and how to apply them in their work. The service engaged well with patients and the community to plan and manage services and all staff were committed to improving services continually.”

A spokesperson for Imaging Services at AECC University College said: “Our recent CQC assessment of our imaging services found a small number of areas that needed improvement.

“These have been addressed and we have already made the changes as recommended. We are delighted that the CQC found many positives in our patient care, which reflects our patient-centred values which underpin all of our clinical and rehabilitation services, and indeed our organisation as a health sciences university. We are working closely with the CQC and look forward to a future visit when we expect to be fully registered across all our clinical services.”